The Menton Lemon Festival runs from February 18th to March 9th, filling the streets and squares with huge constructions made of oranges and lemons. It’s like a carnival but known as a festival when the citrus fruits that bring Menton its wealth and reputation are celebrated.
All sorts of different events are on offer. There’s the Sunday Corsos des fruits d’or (Procession of Golden Fruit Floats) when decorated floats move along the Promenade du Soleil bordering the sea accompanied by musicians, folk groups and majorettes.
There are evening processions followed by fireworks over the bay. The Biovès Gardens host the jardins de lumières (Gardens of Light) which fill with sound and light effects. There are various exhibitions in the Palais de l’Europe, next to the Gardens: The Festival des Orchidées (Orchid Festival), and a highly popular Salon de l’Artisanat (Arts and Crafts Fair) of traditional products of the region inspired by lemons: jams, jellies, honey and liqueurs; soaps and perfumes and glass engravings, ceramics and more.
A local brass band plays during the day and there are evening shows at the Palais de l’Europe. There are various guided tours (of a jam factory and the lemon grove for instance), and the chance to visit the gardens of the Palais Carnolès which has the largest collection of citrus fruit in Europe: from grapefruit trees to kumquats, mandarin orange to clementine trees.
And finally you can buy the citrus fruit used in the festival to make copious amounts of jam, syrup and more.
Some of the events are free, but you need to buy tickets to see the parades. Tickets range from 8 euros to 17 euros.
More InformationLemon Festival
Tourism Office of Menton
8 ave Boyer
Le Palais de l’Europe
Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 92 41 76 76
Tourist Office website